Work has started on a £1.2m refurbishment of the restaurant facilities at the Bath & West Showground. Trustees of the Royal Bath & West of England Society signed off the expenditure in partnership with in-house caterers, Hayes Catering Ltd on a new facility that will cater for 500 people of the ground floor and 350 on the first floor, making it the largest dining and conference space in Somerset, North Dorset and West Wiltshire.

The investment is the latest phase of a major overhaul of the showground that has featured the conversion of the old society offices into a state of the art Rural Enterprise Centre, and the refurbishment of nine toilet & shower blocks, as the Showground looks to attract a range of new clients to the south west’s premier outdoor event venue.

Somerton-based. Edgar Builders have been commissioned to carry out the refurbishment that will be completed by May 2019 in time for the Royal Bath & West Show. The professional team supporting the project is made up of Della Valle Architects from Shepton Mallet, project management from Randell Simmonds of Wells and Beveridge Chartered Structural Engineers from Street.

Branded the “Wessex Pavilion”, to recognise the showground’s regional influence and its Vice-Patronage by Her Royal Highness, the Countess of Wessex, the venue will have the facilities to host large weddings, awards dinners, black tie events and conferences the scale of which have not been hosted in the Mendip area before.

Chief Executive of the Royal Bath & West Society, Rupert Cox said;

“This is a major investment for the Society that will improve our facilities tremendously. The changing face of event management necessitates the need to continually improve our offering for the 800,000 visitors that come to the showground to be entertained by a range of fantastic events throughout the year.”

“We are delighted to be working with Edgar Builders who have an excellent reputation for delivering quality work in often difficult environments and have a proven track record for using top quality local sub-contractors which is important to us.”

“Hayes Catering Ltd have done a great job delivering our catering requirements for the last eight years and with the help of their investment in the project we look forward to working with them for many more years to come”

Work started on the refurbishment on 20th August 2018 with a scheduled completion of 30th April 2019. The ground floor will increase in size by twenty percent, aided by the removal of four internal pillars, a brand new elevated south-facing entrance and sun terrace; all of which will be complimented by a new kitchen and bar area. The first floor, which can now be accessed by a lift as well as stairs, will benefit from a make-over involving new windows and doors with the whole building being enhanced a new heating, air-conditioning and ventilation system.

During the work, it will be “business as usual” on the first floor with venue closures kept to an absolute minimum to make sure the regular users of the venue are not adversely inconvenienced.